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When conducting any type of research or gathering feedback, the most important part is that of asking questions. If you want really good insights or want to know how exactly people feel about a product, or what changes need to be made to make your place more employee friendly, you should be asking the right questions. The set of questions that a researcher or an organization prepares to conduct any kind of a study is called a questionnaire. A questionnaire should be prepared in such a manner that the questions elicit a proper response from the people. People shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or repetitive while answering them. A well prepared questionnaire greatly contributes to getting excellent insights and feedback which leads to a successful survey or research program.
A questionnaire is a set or collection of questions that are used to gather information, opinion, and review responders. They are a quick, economic and efficient way of obtaining information on a large scale. From a business perspective, a questionnaire is a tool used to understand the needs of or gather feedback from customers, employees or clients. Questionnaires can be implemented online, via phones or offline in a face to face manner. Questionnaires usually contain a mix of open and close-ended questions. Depending on the type of question, the data can be qualitative or quantitative in nature. Close-ended questions provide specific and direct answers, while open-ended questions lead to more elaborate and diverse responses.
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A questionnaire is a component, an instrument used in the process of data collection. While on the other hand, a survey is the entire process of data collection involved in a research or feedback study. The questionnaire is like a subset of a survey. Thus, it can be said that a questionnaire is a part of a survey.
It is clear that questionnaires can help understand your audience. Now, let’s take a look at some examples to understand how this works.
A questionnaire of this nature is better used to interact with your target audience. This can help you understand how satisfied your customers are with the service provided. You can also use it to know more about customer preference based on the products advertised by your company. This helps in improving customer experience.
A customer satisfaction questionnaire is concise and effective. You can limit the number of questions which will save time for the audience. With a busy schedule, people may not respond to a questionnaire with too many questions.
You can also add open-ended questions at the end as optional while keeping the main questions as close-ended.
Questionnaires based on the psychological need of students or even employees can give you better insight into their minds working.
These questions are different from the customer satisfaction or experience questionnaire. This type of questionnaire can help you sort out how to help those students or employees in the future.
This type of questionnaire can be used to evaluate how your clients feel about your company. While also analyzing how your employees feel about new policies adopted by the company. For example
These are made either before or after an event. When made before an event, they generally aim at taking the general view of the people as to where the event should be held, what dates they would be comfortable with, suggestions for the menu, venue etc. When conducted after an event, they are usually constructed in the form of feedback forms to get the general feedback of the event and invite suggestions from the audience for future improvement.
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They are also called Exploratory Questionnaires because these questions are mostly open-ended. They are also qualitative in nature. The responders are given the freedom to put forth their opinion. The questions as well do not limit the response. For instance, asking your audience which product they like the most. The response will be ideal for future products.
These questionnaires are also known as Formal Standardized Questionnaires. They are quantitative in nature, that is, they associate a numerical value to the attributes of the research or survey. A structured questionnaire is better used when you have a hypothesis and you want to analyze it by gathering data. This will help you narrow down your options and give specific information.
In terms of distribution, questionnaires can be classified as online, telephonic, mail, offline etc depending on how they are distributed to the respondents.
Such questions can help you collect detailed and qualitative responses from the audience. The responder has the freedom to answer however they want without any limitation.
These are also known as Dichotomous Questions. An example of this would be yes/no questions.
These are generally close-ended questions but the responders have the option of selecting more than one option. You can limit the number of choices they can select.You can also add the option of “other” if it is not possible to add all the options.
What sport do you like to play?
Scaled Question – Likert Scale, Rating Scale, Semantic differential scale are some examples of such questions. These questions are based on the Four Level of Measurement, that is, Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, and Ratio scale.
Pictorial Question – Instead of text or words these questions use images representing the options. Such questions can help the responder choose quickly. Additionally, the questions can be asked to anyone no matter what language because they only have to identify the image.
For example, asking the audience what social media they use the most with the icons of the social media in option.
Unless and until it is a study dealing with personal or sensitive issues, questions that delve too deep into someone’s life should be avoided. People are not comfortable divulging sensitive information and even one of these questions can impact their overall attitude towards the questionnaire.
Sometimes, questions have subtle bias in them. When the respondent reads/hears them, he automatically develops an inclination – either positive or negative – which is desired in the question. Such questions should be avoided as they lead to clouded responses which ultimately affects the results of the study.
Online surveys utilise various channels which are used by the audience to send questionnaires. This way of the survey is cost-effective and also saves time. With the leisure to reply anytime, the audience may respond according to their own schedule.
A phone call to the responder is a quick and direct way to collect data. However, it is expensive and the responder may be reluctant to give much information. Also, the sample size of your data is limited to another form of surveys.
This type of research is usually used by researchers who meet the responder in their workplace or home. In the comfort of one’s natural environment, a person may provide the required information. However, it is a slow process and also expensive because of all the traveling you would have to do.
Although mails are not used anymore, some market research tools still use this medium. The responder receives a physical copy of the questionnaire which they are asked to fill out and send back. However, the issue with this method is that it is expensive for a researcher as well as the responder. The responder also may choose to ignore it because it is time-consuming.
Online survey gives you the option to customize your questions and layout. You can reflect your brand image. The features provided can offer you designs to use in your survey along with tools for easy analysis and calculations.